Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Fracking Ban bill up in committee on Wednesday – Calls needed!

Two good bills and one bad one will be heard in the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources this Wednesday (Valentine’s Day!) at 1:30 pm

Please call or email committee members today and urge them to

VOTE YES on SB 462 to Ban all types of Fracking in Florida
Advanced Well Stimulation Treatment
by Sen. Young
VOTE YES on SB 1664 to require septic tank remediation to
protect and restore our water bodies
Basin Management Action Plans
by Sen. Simmons


VOTE NO on SB 1402 which will authorize Florida to take
responsibility for protecting our wetlands away from the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
SB 1402 State Assumption of Federal Section 404 
Dredge and Fill Permitting Authority
also by Sen. Simmons
SB 462 Advanced Well Stimulation Treatment by Sen. Dana Young which will ban all types of fracking: hydraulic fracturing, acid fracturing, and acid-matrix stimulation in Florida . 
·         Wreaking havoc with Florida’s water through excessive and wasteful consumptive use
·         Chemical pollution of surface waters and the aquifer
·         Human health impacts from toxic chemicals
·         Increasing Florida’s dependence on natural gas
SB 1664 Basin Management Action Plans by Sen. Simmons will require the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Health, local governments, and wastewater utilities to develop a septic tank remediation plan as part of a Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) when DEP identifies septic systems as a significant source of pollution. This is an important step to address our polluted water bodies.
SB 1402 State Assumption of Federal Section 404 Dredge and Fill Permitting Authority by Sen. Simmons would authorize Florida’s DEP to take charge of wetland protection from the EPA.  The Department claims it will look at every issue the feds look at, but how hard they’ll look, and for how long is a mystery.  The details of implementation will only be worked out long after the bill becomes law.
Florida advocated against EPA’s Clean Water Rule, and now the State wants to take responsibility for the very resource it argued shouldn’t be under EPA’s jurisdiction - geographically isolated wetlands. 
In addition, DEP’s staff has been cut by 25% and the federal government will not provide any funding for Florida taking over the job. 

Please contact the committee members below and urge them to vote

YES – to Ban Fracking!
YES – to clean up Septic Tanks!
NO – to removing wetlands from federal protection!

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources 2018
Sen. Book
Part of Broward
Sen. Hukill
Parts of Brevard and Volusia
Sen. Braynon
Parts of Broward and Miami-Dade
Sen. Garcia
Part of Miami-Dade
Sen. Hutson
Flagler, St. Johns and part of Volusia
Sen. Mayfield
Indian River and part of Brevard
Sen. Stewart
Part of Orange

Marine Mammal Commission Proposed for Elimination in Trump's Budget

Dr. Daryl Boness, Chairman of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission, yesterday emailed the following message protesting President Trump's proposal to eliminate the Commission in the FY 2019 Budget.  His simple but eloquent note inspires dolphin and whale lovers including members of Sierra Club Florida to fight harder to oppose Trump's disastrous environmental budget cuts and policies.

From: Marine Mammal Commission [mailto:mmc@mmc.gov]
Sent: Monday, February 12, 2018 10:01 AM
Subject: MMC Proposed for Elimination
Marine Mammal Commission
Proposed for Elimination
For about 1 penny per American per year, the Marine Mammal Commission has met its Congressional mandate to conserve marine mammals for over 40 years.
President Trump released the Administration's budget proposal to Congress on February 12, 2018, requesting the elimination of the Marine Mammal Commission (Commission) in fiscal year 2019 (which begins on October 1, 2018), as he did in FY2018. I again deeply regret having to share this news with you and express my concern about the impact this proposal would have on the American public, marine mammals, and our marine and coastal communities.

In the early 1970s, in response to a concerned American public, widespread recognition that marine mammals are important ocean ambassadors, and an understanding that they play a critical role in the health and productivity of our world's oceans, Congress passed the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). This legislation firmly placed the United States at the forefront of marine mammal and marine ecosystem conservation. It also supported coastal economies that generate significant revenues and jobs from healthy populations of marine mammals. As mandated by the MMPA, the Commission has, for nearly half a century, provided independent, science based oversight of federal activities and programs affecting marine mammals-a function performed by no other agency. 

The Commission sits at the juncture where science, policy, and economic factors are reconciled to meet the mandates of the MMPA, which balance the demands of human activities with the protection of marine mammals and the environment that sustains them. This role helps ensure an effective and efficient regulatory process that abides by Congressional directives, takes into account all stakeholder views, and is based on the best available science. We excel at bringing people together to find solutions to problems before they become crises. We fund cutting edge, low-cost research projects designed to achieve a large impact. We work to ensure the health of marine mammal populations in our oceans and we protect the subsistence hunting rights of Alaska Natives. We proudly perform these and other duties with a modest annual operating budget of $3.431 million, which comes to just over 1 penny per American per year.

We have proudly served you to ensure that whales, manatees, dolphins, seals, sea otters, and other marine mammals survive for generations of Americans to come. In the past two Federal Employee Surveys, the Commission ranked number one in the U.S. government for overall employee engagement and satisfaction, showcasing the level of commitment and motivation of its staff. Despite facing possible elimination of the agency and loss of employment, employees of the Commission remain committed to you and the marine life that has kept us in collective awe for centuries.

The proposed elimination of the Commission comes at a time when decades of marine stewardship are achieving success because of a strong American environmental ethic that balances economic needs with the conservation of our natural resources. We are loyal to our Congressional mandate to responsibly manage and protect marine mammals and their ecosystems, which are vital to our economy, prosperity, and future.


Daryl J. Boness, Ph.D.

Chairman, Marine Mammal Commission

We work to ensure that marine mammal populations are restored and maintained as functioning elements of healthy marine ecosystems in the world's oceans.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Sabal Trail Breaking News: Court Denies Request from Pipeline Backers and Federal Agency on Fracked Gas Pipeline


ICYMI: Court Denies Request from Pipeline Backers and Federal Agency on Fracked Gas Pipeline

Sabal Trail Pipeline Should be Shut Down
Thursday, February 1, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Late yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a request from pipeline builders and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to take another look at the consequences of a case that established downstream greenhouse gas emissions as a crucial component of analyzing the impacts of gas pipelines. The landmark decision from last year forced FERC to consider the future environmental effects of burning gas transported by a pipeline when deciding whether or not to approve construction of the pipeline. Yesterday’s ruling means that the Sabal Trail Pipeline should cease operations until a thorough and complete review of its overall impact is completed.
In response, Sierra Club Staff Attorney Elly Benson released the following statement:
"The D.C. Circuit's orders confirm what we already knew: when a fracked gas pipeline has been constructed without its threats being fully considered, the pipeline should not be allowed to continue operating. Sabal Trail has run out of excuses. The court already rejected FERC's failure to consider the greenhouse gas pollution from burning the gas transported by the pipeline. It's time this dirty, unnecessary pipeline is shut down unless and until FERC conducts a comprehensive review of its climate impacts."
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.

Do it again. Stop P95! Two votes tomorrow on anti-Home Rule proposal, Friday, Feb. 2

Last week, we asked for emails and calls to stop P95 - the anti-Home Rule Preemption Proposal. You delivered!
The item was tabled...but it was put back on the Friday, Feb. 2 agendas for two committees -- one at 9 a.m. and the other at 12:30 p.m.!
We need you to email again, (but this time we'll make it easier.)
Email list (copy and paste):
Erika.Donalds@flcrc.gov, Chris.Nocco@flcrc.gov, Emery.Gainey@flcrc.gov, Bob.Solari@flcrc.gov, John.Stemberger@flcrc.gov, Carolyn.Timmann@flcrc.gov, Nicole.Washington@flcrc.gov, Jose.Diaz@flcrc.gov, Belinda.Keiser@flcrc.gov, Jose.Armas@flcrc.gov, Lisa.Carlton@flcrc.gov, Patricia.Levesque@flcrc.gov, Darryl.Rouson@flcrc.gov
Sample subject line (feel free to write your own):
Vote No on P95 -- No to Preemption. Yes to Home Rule.
Sample message (feel free to write your own):
Please vote No on P95. It's an attack on local government. This controversial proposal would hand polluters a Get-out-of-Regulation Free card that would have appalling consequences for the environment and other issues. Under Home rule, Floridians have input on policies that affect their lives. Let's keep it that way. Vote No on P95.
Again, email us after you've taken action, so we can keep a tally to: jonathan.ullman@sierraclub.org We'll let you know what happens.